Fall is my favorite time of the year! What could possibly make it better than the Tone it Up 31 Day Challenge? If you're already a TIU Girl, then you know what I'm talking about. If not, I strongly suggest you join the TIU team... It's an extremely supportive community with a free workout schedule available, and further nutrition plans available if you need ideas for meal planning.
Right now I'm on Day 14 of Week Two... and I'm feeling the burn! I have a few tips for anyone starting out the challenge this fall. Please let me know if you have any other questions on the TIU Challenge or TIU in general.
Tip #1 - Go Vegetarian or Flexitarian
Even if you don't consider yourself a full time vegetarian, that's okay! I love vegetarian options for taste, convenience, and affordability (Heck, there's a lot of positive benefits to eating a vegetarian/flexitarian diet)!
The Tone it Up Nutrition Plan for the Fall Challenge is definitely more affordable than past Challenges and their original plan, but a way to make this even more do-able is to do the vegetarian plan or, follow the vegetarian plan 50, 60, 70, 80% of the time, and incorporate meat as you see fit.
Tip #2 - Find Alternatives to the Treadmill and Outdoor Running for Your Cardio
I'll be the first to admit I'm not the biggest fan of cardio. So what does a girl do when the TIU Fall Challenge is full of cardio? Find ways to get in cardio that you enjoy! The Tone it Up Website has some resources for HIIT workouts that serve as a cardio workout. You can also search YouTube for other videos, I love Jillian Michaels, so often I will do her Cardio Kick Boxing routine on YouTube, or one of her DVDs that I own at home. That said, sometimes it is beneficial to do traditional cardio, like walking, running, biking, etc... even if it's not exciting! Which leads me to my next tip... make working out fun!
Tip #3 - Make your daily work out something you look forward to... NOT a chore!
There are a few types of exercisers out there. Those who look forward to their workouts, and those who loathe them. I've been blessed with being one of those annoying, self-motivated people who loves her workouts because they give me head space, a way to burn excess anxiety and energy, and they boost my confidence. I totally feel you if you don't feel this way about exercise... but there are ways to improve your exercise mindset.
First, remind yourself why you want to workout. What benefits will it have? Better body? Lower anxiety? Ridding yourself of nervous energy? Bonding with friends? It's different for everyone. Find your reason and tell yourself why you want to work out in the first place.
Next, think of ways to look forward to your daily workout. If you workout in the morning, you can start by making yourself a mug of coffee and sip it while you workout. Have a new playlist on Spotify or Pandora? Play it. New outfit to work out in? Wear it. If you add something you love or something that inspires you to an activity or thing you dread doing (think: homework, studying, driving to work, exercising...) your brain begins to correlate that activity as positive as well!
Lastly, just start! On days where you're really unmotivated to move, tell yourself you'll do just 10 minutes of any activity. Once you get started, it's hard to stop at just 10 minutes. Even if you do stop at the 10 minute mark, who cares! You got 10 minutes in, and you can start again tomorrow.
Tip #4 - Don't forget your Daily Check-ins
There was a time when I would avoid check-ins because I thought they were dorky or people would think my posts were "annoying". I worried about what others thought about me posting 1-3 times per day. Guess what? ... You do you! In the grand scheme of things, does really matter what anyone else thinks of your goals and super cute workout pics, or your Pumpkin Spice Latte with Coconut milk from Starbucks? I've actually found that more friends and acquaintances comment on how much they enjoy seeing my posts. Even if the "haters" are silently mocking my cheesy photos, guess what? I'm doing something that I love and something that keeps me accountable for my health and well-being.
Ain't no shame in my game!!
Check-ins keep you accountable and help you connect with other girls on the same journey as you! Even if you don't post every day, look at the hashtags for Tone it Up like #tiu31 or #tiuteam to get motivated for the challenge all over again!
I hope you enjoyed some of these tips. Comment below what your favorite tip was and/or let me know what questions you have about the TIU plan or the 31 Day Challenge.